(A lil' blog on a dotty hill somewhere)

Wednesday, April 26

Scribble Picnic: Tree and sign up!

Time for another creative picnic and this time under a TREE! Which season would you prefer here? I'm thinking it would be fun to sit under all those falling leaves...or maybe even try to catch some!

OK, time to show us your own woody versions....


Thursday, April 20

Scribble Picnic: Ladder Sign Up

Submerged Treasures: Where there's a will there's a way!

UPDATE: My drawing is finally done! Here's my contribution for this week...to be coloured in later! As I perused pictures of ladders this weekend, it occurred to me that almost all of them show someone climbing up/ascending them but rarely does one see anyone climb DOWN them... And so, here comes Snorkeling Sammie Pool Dog to the rescue!

This Clever but cheeky little pup has finally figured out a way to reach all those toys he's missed catching. More serious measures are in order! :) 

Thanks for joining our picnic. Let's see who's managed to work up (or down) a LADDER this week! :)  Sign up below...


Wednesday, April 12

Scribble Picnic: Rabbit

You're invited... to join us at Scribble Picnic! My take on this week's theme ventures down the RABBIT hole into Alice in Wonderland.

For any of you who have might have watched my last post's video, did you guess what the plaque would say? Probably not. :) That's OK. In fact, I debated about just showing my own version of the white rabbit but then thought adding a sign could make for a fun, if not unique, party invite too. And of course, especially useful for tea parties and such — not that anyone really throws those around here but, hey, maybe such cards would sell? (I'm thinking about offering these and seeing if anyone likes their novelty, if nothing else.) As for all things Tea, I'm doing my best, converting one person at a time here. I mean, look at Alexandra*! Before I met her she never had ever enjoyed tea's wonders, and now you won't find her make it through a day without at least a few cuppas. Ha-ha.

My favourite part drawing this? Scribbling frenetically the swirly lines, insinuating that marvelous Wonderland wackiness and English-like eccentricity. So, how about you? Time to show us what YOU did. Thank you for joining in... and, last but not least, HAPPY (early) EASTER to you all, whether you celebrate it, do anything at all, or not! Personally, I love everything about Easter even though, admittedly, I won't be having any eggs (albeit for the small bag of Cadbury's robin eggs already purchased) and we won't be making any big meal, especially since we don't eat ham, beef or lamb and not even sure who can come over anyway. At this rate, it might just be cinnamon rolls at lunch time! :P

*Speaking of the gal, do you know she never was given an Easter basket or eggs growing up or as an adult until I gave her one?! Speaking of that, this will be the first year I'm not making Easter baskets for anyone. Whoa.


Monday, April 10

Down the Rabbit Hole...


Scribble Picnic is coming up this Wednesday. Can you guess the theme? Want to join in? Well, come on over. We've LOVE to have you! All interpretations are welcome. Join us this week down the rabbit hole...

Wednesday, April 5

Scribble Picnic: Grandfather Clock

Whenever pondering Grandfather clocks, my mother's comes to mind. (Currently, my sister in Yorkshire houses it, along with all my mother's other furniture, in fact.) Actually, it's the one item specifically willed to me that I will some day inherit. Perhaps not surprising really—growing up, I repeatedly would tell her just how much I loved it. (The trouble now, of course, is that it will be vastly too expensive for me to ever ship something that heavy all the way here to land-locked Colorado and such an old, beautiful antique wouldn't do well in our very dry climate. Then there's the sad reality that it would be totally out of place in our fairly spartan, more modern home! (In the meanwhile, there's some heart-string pulling decisions to make, wanting it to stay in England where I feel it rightfully belongs.)

Anyway, often alongside our family's Grandfather clock hung the big portrait painting of my great-grandfather. With his judge's eyes seemingly continually and sternly looking down, following wherever we would go, it always spooked us as children (and, actually, sometimes still does)!

Why do I mention these? Well, as such, there's a somewhat strange dichotomy I have with Grandfather Clocks that's perhaps reflected in this rather tongue-in-cheek interpretation above? While I didn't get to finish it entirely, that's OK! Scribble Picnic is as much about just scribbling something down as anything else. The idea is just to be creative and think creatively about the various themes. (I need to remember that too—it's so easy to pressure myself to perfect everything when there isn't really always the need. That's not to say that I won't at some latter point colour this in though... well, at least that lil' tea-time mouse popping his head out there. Can you find him?*)  :)

OK, time to see what the rest of you struck up! At the sound of the chime... Go!...

P.S. If you didn't get a chance to see it, there's a montage of the previous week's boat pieces, you might enjoy checking out as well.

*And for something extra fun: whoever can find the most items hidden away in this piece will get a lil' freebie something just for your efforts! Happy Hunting! Simply send me your list. :)


Saturday, April 1

Michael rows these boats ashore...

All rights reserved and all artwork copyrighted by each artist. "Boat" theme examples (from top down, left to right, column by column):
Christine | Alexandra | Cassie @beet&baguette | Lissa (rainswept) | joeks
Wanda 1&2 | Janis Cox | Tammie 1&2
Linda (dots n' doodles) 1&2 | Andrea (Falling Ladies) | Joni @popartminis
Mary (TravelBrit) | Heather @babywanderlove | Me | Hannah McCown | Lorraine

This last week's BOAT theme is worth another visit. From banana-splits to walnut boats to actual fabric designs, there was a lot of variety this go around and 3 artists didn't link here but posted to Instagram instead. (I've included their links above since everyone else posted on the sign up, should you've not had a chance to visit others yet.)

Thanks again to each of you who played along and for any shout outs to this art collective along the way. I really enjoy reading your posts and for many of you, it's actually a great chance for me to catch up on your blogs too. Some are quite prolific, after all! :) 

For all featured here, you've already earned one of up to four entries possible before the next fun picnic giveaway! Why do these? Well, aside from being perhaps the nudge someone needs to join in and get scribbling, it's also a chance to celebrate and encourage others which I especially love to do! And you know, it's fun having an excuse to shop around, supporting our local stores whilst trying to figure out what each of you might like...especially when Alexandra and I aspire to live such a Marie Kondo decluttered designed life!

It's going to be super interesting seeing what's created for Grandfather Clock. The only image that currently comes to mind, funnily enough, is the clock all alone on a planet, a la the obelisk scene from 200I: A Space Odyssey! Ha-ha, no, I'm not planning to do another space theme again anytime soon. Perhaps reviewing the Scribble Picnic Pinterest board might lead to other novel ideas though? Hmmm... We shall see!

See you back here on Wednesday! :)


Wednesday, March 29

Scribble Picnic: boats

For this go around, I took a baby's or toddler's take on "boats!" :) Yes, it's super cutesy but, hey, I rather like it. I feel like Ernie and his rubber duckie about to break out into song, if I could actually sing like Alex or others, that is! So, a lil' splashy soggy picnic this go around, but how about you? Can't wait to see what each of you have done...


Saturday, March 25

And the Winner is...

This lil' hamper of fun is ready to go! Hmmm... I wonder what's inside that wooden box? Some lucky Scribble Picnic winner is going to find out. As stated earlier, everyone got an entry for each time you joined our picnic these last 4 weeks. Want to find out who won? See below...

Congratulations, winner! Please contact me any way you prefer, sending an address for mailing these goodies off to you. The planner starts whenever you want it to so take your time and enjoy. Happy planning... and, of course, Happy Scribble Picnicking! :) 

There will be another tailor made giveaway for April. See the sidebar themes and join in when you can. You never know, it could be you the next time around. Help us celebrate by joining the fun! :)


Thursday, March 23

Planning for Scribble Picnic's Giveaway #2!

It's been a whole month since the very first Scribble Picnic giveaway that Serena won. So, as promised, it's time for another! This 52-week planner is beautifully designed and would make a great gift if you didn't want it for yourself. However, just think of all the creative inspirations you could come up with using such an inspiring book. :)

Anyway, I hope the lil' video preview inspired you. As noted, you get 1 entry per week signed up here. So, for many of you, that's 4 entries (one per week for Cabin, Umbrella, Lantern and Fairies) — pretty good odds when considering there was a total of 40 entries. (What? That's a whopping one-in-ten chance!) Keep in mind too that there will be a few other items tossed in for fun and probably one of my blank art cards too. It will be a fun picnic basket of goodies, let me assure you!

I'm not picking the winner today but have all your names written down the correct number of times and am ready to go. For this go around, I'm actually going have a slip of paper for each entry, throwing them into a bowl and having Alexandra blind pick out the winner, filming it too. That way, you can watch the video, build the suspense with us and find out who won! I'll post this Sunday, along with a photo of some other items included.

In the meantime, thanks for your involvement; for promoting this art cooperative and for visiting each other too. (I love reading some of your lovely comments to one another as much as the accompanying posts to your own creations.) 

OK, until then, Happy Scribble Picknicking! Our next picnic is on a BOAT, so to speak! And, if you haven't noticed, the new themes for the next several weeks are up on the sidebar already, in case you want to plan ahead. Thanks again.


Wednesday, March 22

Scribble Picnic: Fairies

Fairies are upon us for this picnic! And here's my take. With lots of work lately,  I only jumped on this around 8pm Tuesday night and now that it's 10:15pm, this is where this piece will have to end. Got to get some sleep! Who knows, maybe I'll dream about some of these mystical flights of fancy? The reality is that while I do believe in angels, spirits, etc, I'm not terribly into fairy folk-lore per se, but they definitely did have their place within in English culture, particularly whilst growing up.

Speaking of which, I have actually, oddly enough, had an "experience" with "fairies," if you will, believe it or not. While most likely sparked by imagination and sleep, I still remember it distinctly all these decades later! When I was about 6 and my younger sister around 5, we had just moved to London where we shared a room and would talk to each other each night, full of excitement at the sounds of the city and the street lights below. One night I dreamt that before falling asleep, between our two beds in the middle of the room, sparkling lights started glowing just above the carpet — and there they were — tiny fairies joining hands and dancing in a circle, full of glee! Merrily, they went round and round, some fluttering up and down, others just running or skipping like little kids. Both my sister and I were utterly enthralled, our eyes and mouths literally wide open with wonder.

Waking up the next morning and thinking about what a vivid and unexpected dream I had that night, my sister then started telling me about her own dream. And guess what? It was the exact same as mine! Even at such a young age, I imagined that one of us must have kind of entered the others' dream or something...or was it real somehow? While fun to imagine the latter, my mind was more intrigued with the notion of dreams, even at that age. (I've always remembered my dreams, often a handful each night actually, and all of them very vivid to the smallest details — like noticing loose threads on clothing or what have you. Mind you, all pretty random and pointless too! Hahaha.)

And so here I am today, still enthralled with that sense of wonder. That is where the child-like heart comes alive, after all. As my dear mother often would say, "...there are far more things in this universe seen than unseen, Michael." Faith aside, I really do feel that love between people, music and art can help capture that sense of the intangible in its various forms. And so with that, I'm wondering, just how did you capture something like FAIRIES, of all things? I included this theme, knowing quite a few of you really love drawing them. Time then to sign up below and show us your very own fairy picnic! I'll be sure to pop by later, merrily even, leaving a comment for each of you but perhaps not dancing a jig or anything quite that exciting, sorry to say. :)

(Do be sure to pop back here tomorrow, Thursday, for a special sneak peek at the next giveaway.)


Wednesday, March 15

Scribble Picnic: Lantern

Lantern Love

This little hedgie's in the spirit! Is he sending out love or celebrating Chinese New Year or perhaps both? It's amazing what a lil' bit of craft work can do. :)

For some time I've loved that romantic notion of setting lanterns afloat up, up in the air, carrying with them our hopes and aspirations. Something so romantic about that, don't you think?

Well, how did you interpret the LANTERN theme for this week? Time to show and tell...

(Oh, and btw, I did end up finishing the previous "Umbrella" piece, if you're interested in seeing it.) 


Tuesday, March 14

Thanks to a Colourful Umbrella

Popping Out for Lunch

I have Twitter's Colour Collective challenge to thank for motivating me to find the time to actually colour in this sketch! The colour for the week (amaranth) was what I decided to use for wormie's umbrella and then worked out from there. Ha, some camo! :)

No montage this week but, if you haven't already, do be sure to visit the others from the Umbrella sign up. Lots of different, interesting takes there and even one more late entry here.

Needless to say, I have yet started the Lantern Scribble Picnic challenge for this Wednesday but am sure something will pop into mind when having a chance to contemplate it. And, of course, our Picnic's Pinterest can always help get the creative juices going. :)

Wednesday, March 8

Scribble Picnic: Umbrella

Popping Our for Lunch

For this Scribble Picnic, I decided to just leave it as a sketch...from my sketchbook. :) Can you see the umbrella? That sneaky lil' worm. Clever thing.

Well, OK, I had to rush this Tuesday night, after a long day of work, as time was ticking down and the sign up (below) needs to go up as well. Time now to see what each of you did for this theme. Can't wait!

Oh, and I might colour this illo' in later, we'll see. Ideas are certainly afoot. :)


Friday, March 3

Cabin Fever

All rights reserved and all artwork copyrighted by each artist. Examples (from left to right, column by column):

How was the cabin picnic for you? Did you meet anyone new, like Tammie from Creative Tuesdays' days or my long time British ex-pat blog friend, Mary, who you can always trust to bring a breath of fresh air? In case you wanted to see all the entries from everywhere, here they are. Again, those with the "@" symbol are ones who did not sign up here but posted to Instagram or Twitter instead.

Well, I don't know about you, but I had a grand time popping by, seeing your various offerings. (Some cabin fevers are better than others, you know.) Thank you! Incidentally, I brightened up a few pieces in Photoshop (using "curves" for approximating the picture to look closer to your actual art). If any of you want that image, let me know and I'll send you a link.

As mentioned last week, since I'm doing a giveaway every month, each of you gained an entry for this week's contribution. Three more weeks and opportunities to go! Just this morning, Alexandra and I were discussing ideas for the next basket of goodies. I so love shopping for those; it truly brings me joy. More on that later so stay tuned.

Next Wednesday, we'll picnic again but this time under an UMBRELLA. It's going to be varied, I'm sure, from scribbles to fun ideas, from clever to adorable and everything in-between! Just watch out for those "soggy bottoms," as Mary Berry might quip!

Wednesday, March 1

Scribble Picnic: Cabin & Sign Up

 "Lunar Laundry"

The Man on the Moon? For this go around, I decided to show an astronaut left behind in his little shack on this barren lunar landscape, the Earth looming large. Of course, one might wonder, Where did the wood come from and how would s/he even have any water to wash the space suit? :) All questions begging for a story! Perhaps, s/he was dropped off there, supplies on board, with a mission to live alone, a la Robinson Crusoe, sending smoke signals back to earth? Maybe s/he found raw supplies down some deep crater afar? I don't quite know, but loved the twist to the theme! As you can see below, I actually inked this one in and then watercolour painted it, adding acrylic paint for some touch ups at the very end. (An earlier stage can be seen here.)

OK, your turn now! If you're on a web platform, please simply sign up below. If on Instagram or Twitter, please be sure use #scribblepicnic and tag me @dotty_hill, so those of us there can find you. Thank you for playing along. I sooo can't wait to see what everyone did! So, where will you host our cabin picnic? :) (I suggest spacesuits to the ready for here, at least!)


Tuesday, February 28

"Cabin" Sneak Peek

How is everyone coming along, presenting their "cabin" for the next Scribble Picnic? Wednesday's the big day so there's still time to put the finishing touches on your piece or even start it! For me that entails deciding how to colour this composition. As it's inked on watercolour paper, I probably will first try my hand at painting it and seeing how that goes, rather than going straight to digital. (In fact, paints are laid out and will jump in right after posting this.)

Thanks for playing along and good luck. Hampers to the ready! :)

Friday, February 24

And the Winners are...

All rights reserved and all artwork copyrighted by each artist. Examples (from left to right, column by column):

What a fabulous array for our very first Scribble Picnic! Over 20 appetizing finds to feast your eyes upon. We have everything from part time doodlers, to artists to even a professional baker! Before announcing who won the fabulous giveaway, if you haven't seen everything yet, here's all the submissions. (As you'll note from the "@" symbol, there were several Instagram offerings too. In fact, some of you submitted both to the blog sign up and social media so in that case, I went with the blog name. BTW, I understand that we'll each stick with our preferred platform when visiting others and that's entirely expected, but thought it would be fun for you to see a glimpse everything here.) How fun and varied they all are. As with any art collective, it's only as successful and engaging as each of us make it. I'd say then, we're off to a great start! How about you?

For the giveaway drawing, I counted up the number of times each participant qualified for an entry and added your names as many times to a random name picker. Rather than spoil the fun, announcing who won here, you can simply congratulate the winner* yourself! :D

In case you didn't catch it, the next Scribble Picnic theme is centered around a CABIN! (All future themes and due dates will be listed on the side bar, btw.) If you're ready to start loading up your creative hamper with possibilities, maybe this Pinterest board will help add a little relish? Happy Pickings! Oh, and finally, one more thing: I'm doing a giveaway each month, continuing the picnic celebration for a while. And, I'm thinking it would be exciting to shop around for one grand bundle end of year holiday prize, open to all of you who participate at least once a month! How fun is that?! I do love butlering, after all! :)

*Winner, do be sure to contact me or private message on Instagram so I can send the picnic winnings to you right away. And, if for some reason, you choose to pass, that's fine too, it will then go to the runner-up, Christine.

Wednesday, February 22

Scribble Picnic: Octopus!

Welcome to our very first Picnic! I'm super excited who joins in here and who else might prefer to post to Instagram or Twitter (using #scribblepicnic and tagging me @dotty_hill).

Here's my entry above. This lil' octo is pleasantly and bewilderingly surprised to have popped out of the water, finding a rubber ducky atop his head. Will it become his water born "teddy-bear" of sorts? Will they go on lots of adventures together? Will someone on that ship afar take a photo of this most extraordinary scene? Ooh, the possibilities are endless.

Thanks for joining in and do please leave a comment if you've entered for the giveaway, letting me know exactly which ways you've helped promote this new art collective so I can be sure to enter you the correct number of times. Someone is going to have their very own little picnic with these fabulous offerings (and I might even throw in a few freebie art pieces too). I will be sure to post back here in a few days to let you know the lucky winner and before then, visiting each of you. :)


Tuesday, February 21

Scribble Picnic Kickoff!
"Octopus" due Wednesday with Blogger Sign up.

Scribble Picnic, the new art co-op for doodlers and artists alike, is taking off! Today is the official kick-off. Time to pull out your sketchbooks, pencils, markers, i-Pads or what have you. We've got exactly one week to come up with something fun for our first theme, Octopus!

Please post your work and sign up here on Wednesday, Feb. 22nd. The sign up will be under my completed art piece posted then. (And of course, if you prefer to simply post to social media, just use #scribblepicnic and be sure to tag me @dotty_hill so I and others can find your creative dish on Instagram or Twitter.)

I hope you're excited to join the picnic and meet some others along the way. I know I am! As you can see here, I've already started creatively exploring just how to depict this theme. Hmm.. well, what can I say? Dealing with eight legs can get quite interesting, to say the least!

P.S. Be sure to let me know just what options you took from my giveaway promo challenge so I can enter you into the drawing the correct number of times. Thank you for playing along and good luck!

Friday, February 10

Introducing Scribble Picnic: A Brand New Art Co-Op!

Exciting News
I'm starting a NEW art co-op* and am asking you to please join in, promote it and build it with me!  This will be a great way to gain exposure and gives us all a chance to creatively explore a weekly theme with others all on the same page.

Join in and WIN!
To help launch it, I'm offering this fabulous giveaway below (open to everyone). Here are a number of ways to enter:
  • Join the FIRST Scribble Picnic. Sign up your art on the post for Wednesday Feb 22nd.
    (See sidebar for current weekly theme and due dates.)
  • Add this icon to your side bar with a link back to the "Join Scribble Picnic" page.
  • Promote the weekly picnic and giveaway with your own post.
  • Post to social media, add #scribblepicnic and let me know where. 
  • Leave a comment below.
Each option gives you an extra entry into the drawing to WIN! The winner will be picked Thursday, Feb. 23rd. So, what are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves, tuck in, read the guidelines and join the fun!

* Seasons change and with it, Creative Tuesdays is being retired. It was a good run whilst it lasted. Thank you to everyone who played along and here's hoping you and others will find time to load up your basket with ideas and join us all here on this new venture!

Tuesday, February 7

Creative Tuesdays: Bubblegum Machine


It's a "pop art" kind of piece for this CT's Bubblegum Machine challenge. And, just happens to fit in nicely for Valentine's too. You know me, always liking to challenge myself and mixing things up, I decided to make this have that 1960's sort of feel. Bubble gum machines are, after all, getting kind of retro too. :)

I had a fair bit of fun with this and hope you did too? Time to find out what you guys did.... I'll be visiting everyone who signs up tonight and again tomorrow.  See you then.

Wednesday, January 4

Creative Tuesdays: The Story Behind the Woman on the Train

Arms folded, always traveling, she looked out beyond these trees, into another time when life was so glamorous, care-free and full of fun...

Saying goodbye to Petaling Jaya, to her dear Malaya once again, how could she know that decades later, she would never return? A few more "lives" from now, all that would remain would be the bittersweet memories of brighter times casting their increasingly faded hue onto longer shadows of duller, forlorn years — years that would stretch past her current middle age and deep into the fading light of a long, often lonely, bleak winter.

Instead of sparkling oceans and romantic horizons, her life would only diminish. Behind four whitewashed walls of her new-found confines, she would be alone in her experiences that no one could possibly imagine. Her upbringing was a Colonial life, as was her father's and father's father, but those days were long gone. Her only voyages would be in those tenuous dreams of once more embarking on her ship and heading out of port. One day, she'll console herself that this journey will indeed be her last. Setting sail, she won't look back to those dark waters, her heart instead fixed on another horizon, one also lush with promise. Yes, the sun will return, the colors will then become ever brighter.


I dedicate this piece of art and story to my mother, who now faces an unwanted life in an elderly care home, burdened by a heavy heart and ailing body. Even now, she still wishes she could return to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur and the Cameron Highlands — exotic locales she enjoyed not just in her childhood (before the Japanese invaded) but again in her 20's for several years and later still, with my father in her 30's (where we spent our baby to pre-school years). As she often reminds us, she may be English but remains a child of the tropics! "Why do I live in such a bloody cold country?!" she often laments. Indeed. Life has taken her to untold heights and incredible lows. Her life's journey has been one of loves discovered and lost, privileges enjoyed and stripped, and of children come and gone afar. Faced now with short term memory loss, those exotic days of old when she worked for Special Branch, entranced with frivolous days of dancing and cocktail parties and visits to Raffles hotel are some of the memories that she can still hold fast to and enjoy their revelry.

Dear Mama, I love and cherish you. One day you can and will once more set sail to those distant shores but this time there will be no sorrows.

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